How The Bangles Got Their Name

Many '80s pop songs are still well-loved today, but "Walk Like an Egyptian" by the Bangles is perhaps one of the most addictive earworms from that era. As Stereogum explains, the song came out on December 20, 1986, and was No. 1 on the charts for four consecutive weeks. The song, along with its music video, inspired the iconic Egyptian-like dance, which was based on hieroglyphics in Egypt. Though the dance itself was never historically accurate, as ancient Egyptians did not walk like that, it still caught on, nonetheless. 

The hit song was one of the band's first major hits and helped boost their fame. The Bangles went on to become a beloved pop band, releasing other songs such as "Hazy Shade of Winter" and "Going Down to Liverpool." But, with a name like The Bangles, one has to ask: How did they decide on that to begin with? The history behind the name is surprisingly interesting.

A brief history of the Bangles

The Bangles first came together in the year 1981. As AllMusic explains, both Debbi Peterson and Vicki Peterson officially joined the band after responding to Susanna Hoffs's advertisement looking for bandmates. CBS Records eventually signed a contract with the band, and Michael Steele, who was a member of the famous punk band the Runaways, eventually joined the outfit in 1983. "All Over the Place" was their first major album, which was released in 1984. They would soon drop another album, "Different Light," in 1986, which contained their most iconic and well-known song, "Walk Like an Egyptian."

"Manic Monday," another big hit from the band, was actually written by pop megastar Prince, only under his pseudonym Christopher. As IMDb says, the band's songs have been featured in numerous movies and shows as well, such as "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" and "Futurama." To this day, the band still tours around the world, performing music in both Europe and America.

How did the Bangles get their name?

Band name lawsuits and disputes are actually more common than people think. As Billboard explains, numerous bands and musicians like Morris Day and the Time, Stone Temple Pilots, Jefferson Starship, and so on have all been embroiled in heated legal battles over name ownership. And The Bangles are no different. In an interview with Susanna Hoffs on Medium, she explains how the band changed from the Bangs to the Bangles.

"We record an EP as the Bangs. All the artwork is virtually done. But on the eve of that record going to print in 1982, Miles is notified that a boy band on the East Coast called the Bangs is insisting that we change our name ... or pay. So, we have 48 hours to come up with a new name. That's how we became the Bangles," Hoffs told music journalist Kelly McCartney. And before the Bangs, the band was also named the Colours. For one reason or another, the name change came eventually when the band established itself in 1981, and the rest was history.